The development of “age” and “subculture” tourism in Ukraine: the study of foreign experience
Posokhov I. S.
PhD in History, Associate Professor of Tourist Business Department
V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
The paper analyzes the characteristics of tourism for different age and subcultural groups of tourists. The current state of tourist and excursion programs for different age groups of tourists in Ukraine and the world are investigated. The directions of the foreign experience in the tourist and sightseeing activities in Ukraine are given. The prospects of development of tourist and excursion programs for different age groups of tourists are defined.
Keywords: tourism, subculture, age group, Ukraine
Работа посвящена анализу особенностей организации туризма для разных возрастных и субкультурных групп туристов. Исследовано современное состояние создания туристическо-экскурсионных программ для различных возрастных групп туристов в Украине и мире. Обоснованы направления использования зарубежного опыта в туристическо-экскурсионной деятельности Украины. Определены перспективы развития туристическо-экскурсионных программ для различных возрастных групп туристов.
Ключевые слова: Туризм, субкультура, возрастные группы, Украина
It is necessary to say a few words about the estimates and forecasts made by European and American experts in the study of tourist behavior. For example, in the EU they distinguish the differences, if any, in the travel behavior of representatives of four different age groups of travelers aged from 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64 years old and older than 64 years .
Today, younger tourists aged 15 to 24 years are on average 15% of European tourists, the lowest in France (12%) and the highest in Latvia (30%). There is an evidence that in the youngest age group, the proportion of tourists are generally higher for the new Member States than the old ones. The group also consists of universities students, this will be discussed further. People aged 25 to 44 make up the largest share of the total number of tourists (38%), with the highest proportion in Lithuania (48%) and Italy (44%). Overall, every third tourist is a men of 25-44 years old. Unlike previous ages, tourists aged 65 and older travel on average more than others, and usually make longer journeys than others. In addition, demographic trends indicate that the proportion of people over 64 years in the total population will increase in the long term prospect.
Their share is expected to grow almost double, reaching 30% in fifty years. However, it is likely because of improved health care and better health situation; their share will grow even faster than expected on the basis of demographic trends. Mature travelers also make a huge part of the tourist market. So, further growth of tourism industry in many countries over the next years will depend on how travel companies understand the demographic trends that influence consumer behavior.
As noted, persons older than 64 years are engaged in the longest journeys of all EU tourists, spending an average of 12 nights per trip. Tourists aged 15 to 24 or from 25 to 44 years old typically make short trips, compared with other age groups, which can be explained by their greater employment. Another important general conclusion to be drawn from the analysis of statistics is that in the EU tourists age distribution roughly corresponds to the age distribution of the population. However, in Ukraine it is difficult to find even common but extremely important statistical information.
Table 1. Population over 65 years in the EU, 2011 
However, the researchers go further and distinguish the relationship between particular types of tourism and groups of people. For example, the analysis of market segments of tourism in Scotland gave the following results: Eco-tourism (foot walking) involves the general public, mostly couples without children; more than half of them are under 44 years old, with a high income. Eco-tourism (wildlife watching) – take part relatively wealthy, well-educated, mature, focused on nature alone people (their children already grew up and left the family). In cultural tourism are involved the people aged of 45 to 64 years old with above-average incomes, mostly couples. In educational tourism – first of all, students and retired people are involved. The list goes on .
The development of tourism for different age groups in Ukraine is an important prerequisite for a return to normal life for many categories of population, their normal life. Not only rich ones, but also all citizens should have the opportunity for an active rest and of full value, health promotion, introduction to national and international cultural values. Without it we cannot count tourism industry as socially oriented market economy, as well as to make tourism market socially oriented.
Nowadays, young people are increasingly focused on educational tours. Youth travels more and more, it is very fashionable, prestigious, and often they combine learning process with work. In summer, during the holidays, young people will definitely enjoy learning centers on the coasts; these branches have many leading schools. For example, a beach vacation combined with the study of language is one of the most popular typical programs. However, to catch up the Europeans with their abilities and interest is very difficult for young Ukrainian people. And the main obstacle is the cost of proposals that is a big trouble for our youth. Young people are looking for the lowest interest rates, hotels of 2-3*, or, better yet, accommodation in apartments and boarding houses. On the other hand, many managers in tourist companies of Ukraine do not want to spend their time and efforts to find the most affordable proposals, the managers do not have great incentive to do that.
The second reason which hinders the development of youth tourism in Ukraine is a visa, which is required in many countries for Ukrainians. Young people immediately come at risk group for consulates of the Schengen states and others. At least half of all young people who apply for a visa are rejected nowadays. Young people under 25 often go abroad to work, so approach the consulate visa more than strictly. The increase in Ukrainian youth tourism greatly hampers the older generation. Today's youth is strongly dependent on the economic opportunities of their parents and still is under their control in many other areas.
Thus, we should adopt a positive international experience, including:
• generation of funds to support social tourism (central and regional);
• exempt of VAT revenues received from the sale of social travel packages;
• provide rebates to consumers of tourism services of a social nature in the off-season;
• provide participants of tourism discounts on passenger transportation during the off-season;
So, in Ukraine, only a system of social tourism can give a complete tourist product that would satisfy the needs of pupils, students, pensioners, disabled people and other vulnerable groups in the leisure, recreation, and knowledge of the world.
When analyzing these data, it becomes clear that we can study the travel preferences of people from the other side, investigating certain groups (subcultures) to which they belong, because namely through the involvement in the subculture person can choose a certain type of tourism.
The term “subculture” has been extended in the 1960th – 1970th in connection with an interest in youth movements. In modern scientific studies the subculture is defined as part of the culture of the society that differs from the dominant and characterizes the certain social groups. As early as 1979 in the book “Subculture – the value of style”, Dick Hebdige argued that subcultures reconciles similarly minded people and allow them to develop a sense of identity. That is, according to Dick Hebdige, the subcultures attract people with similar tastes, which do not meet generally accepted standards and values .
Nowadays, the segment of tourism aimed at representatives of youth subcultures undergoing rapid development. Unusual for many people hiking trails find support among the young men. For example, for the so-called “Goths” subculture some tourist companies offer the packages related to castles, human suffering, death and so on. The youth who represents such subculture is easy to find in urban Ukraine; however, our investigation gave no data about existing or at least developing of such tourist route in the country. Moreover, many tourist companies in the world offer excursion programs for the members of many youth subcultures, such as “emo”, “hippie”, “military”, etc.
A considerable group of the population is students who by all accounts belong to the “typical tourists”. There is every reason for the separation of student subculture, in particular, age and occupational characteristics of students as a social group. The moderate age of students explains their unstable mental reactions, provides young people with such features as emotions, daydreaming, romanticism and so on. However, they also are focused on intellectual activity. They are characterized by an increased interest to the outside world, they are quite active and sociable. But the learning process naturally causes substantial uncertainty, lack of sustainable social and professional position and, consequently, minor financial capabilities. In this case, special tours for students in Europe and the U.S. account for their active lifestyles, romanticism, willingness to learn, while the limited financial capacity of these tourists compensates by involving a large number of student youth. Obviously, while creating of tourist programs in Ukraine, it should be considered an extremely onerous financial position of most Ukrainian students. Nevertheless, the European experience shows that it is possible to offer affordable options for leisure travel, and to provide the business appeal by the number of tourists. As to the number of students, it should be mentioned that only in Kharkiv (one of Ukrainian cities) there are about 300.000 of students – it opens up almost unlimited possibilities for travel companies, especially if we take into account that the structure of students is completely updated every few years. Another thing is that we still have a lot to be done for the development of student’s tourism. It is obvious that the focus only on expensive foreign tourism for the wealthy people does not give big prospects.
To conclude, the basis of tourism in most countries it is domestic tourism, the development of which, of course, should be a priority in Ukraine, including the use of modern achievements of other countries in the tourism sector, in particular, the experience of travel for members of different age groups and subcultures.
1. Conrady R. Trends and Issues in Global Tourism 2012 / R. Conrady, M. Buck. - Heidelberg, 2012. – 276 pp.
2. Endresen K. Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage: A Review of Development Assistance and Its Potential to Promote Sustainability / K. Endresen. – 91 pp.
3. Hebdige D. Subculture: The meaning of style / D. Hebdige. - London: Methuen, 1979. - 635 pp.
4. Urhausen J. Eurostat report: Tourism in Europe – does age matter? / J. Urhausen. - http://www.tourism-review.com/
5. World Tourist organization, Sustainable Development of Tourism: A Compilation of Good Practices. - Madrid, 2001.